We are going to construct a large bridge on the Occoquan at Bland's Ford; already a small one for infantry being built there, and will be finished in two three days. I will discuss the whole subject of your teller with General Johnston as soon as practicable, and he will send you instruction for your guidance.
The above are only my own personal views.
G. T. BEAUREGARD.
Centreville, November 13, 1861.
Honorable J. P. BENJAMIN, Acting Secretary of war:
SIR: I had the honor to-day to received your letter of the 7th instant, in which you write:
I had not the most remote idea that expected aid from Mr. Hunter of from this department in relation to winter quarters for the troops, nor can I conceive upon what basis you entertained such expectation, [and] I find it impossible to account for your long delay in noticing my letter of the 13th ultimo and your failure any sign of uneasiness at the non-appearance of the saw-mills or workmen you expected to furnish the lumber.
I think that my letter of the 2nd instant, to which you refer, shows upon what basis I entertained the expectation in question, and that your letter of the 13th ultimo and my conversation with your agent who delieved it to me account for my failure to exhibit any sign of uneasiness at the non-appearance of the saw-mills or workmen. As to delay in nothing your letter, it merely accredited your agent. It seemed to men to require from one confident in your agent no other notice than assurance to him of such aid, at the proper time, as you required for him.
You informed me in your letter of October 13 that you had employed two gentlemen-one of whom, Mr. Hunter, delivered the letter-to build huts for this army-and that they would explain the plan proposed, for which my co-operation was asked especially. IU was to determine the locality and lines where the huts were to be built. Mr. Hunter made the explanation, and was told that the locality could then be indicated, but that the lumber might be sawed anywhere rear of Manassas near the railroad, and we parted with the clear understanding on my part that he would have his mills (ten) in operation about the 25th. He was desirous to consult General Beauregard, who had considered the subject, in regard to the plan of the huts, and I saw him no more. But then, as now, believing him to be perfectly reliable, I did not became uneasy until nearly a week after the period fixed upon by Mr. Hunter, and then wrote to the Acting Secretary on the subject.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. E. JOHNSTON,
P. S.-The labors promised in your letter of the 13th October have not been heard of.
CAM, MEADOW BLUFF, November 13, 1861.
To the SECRETARY OF WAR, Confederate States:
SIR: This position is one of the most important in the State. Here or in the immediate vicinity, unite the only good roads to the ferries of